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It sure makes a difference to own your own plane!!



 
 
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  #1  
Old June 29th 04, 02:34 PM
Marco Rispoli
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Default It sure makes a difference to own your own plane!!

First off you can find lost of pictures of from Flying W and of my plane,
he

http://www.thepilotlounge.com/script...?showtopic=849

and now for the story:

The plan for Saturday was to go to Flying W N14 which is one of them
airports with a restaurant on it.

The school's piper at 47N was booked for Saturday but ... guess what? I
don't care!! cause I got my own PLANE!

Yep, on Saturday morning my wife and I proudly walked to our hangar to
pre-flight OUR plane without having to go get the keys from someone ... I
had the keys with me.

But the weather just looks abominable. This is the kind of weather I have
been thaught to stay away from ... and instead I am about to plunge into it!

I slowly and gingerly pre-flight the plane, eyeing the sky suspiciously. An
ultralight takes off in what must be 1500 feet of ceiling. Probably the
worst ceilings I ever considered to fly under.

The weather forecast says that the it's going to improve as time goes by
though. Earlier this morning it was deep IFR. Now (it's about 11:30 am) at
least visibility seems decent ... just the ceilings are low.

I have a chat with the weather briefer that says that ceilings are low but
VFR ... things are MVFR around Trenton but then get better around South
Jersey. And weather will improve for sure this afternoon.

I call Mark on the phone to tell him that the plan is this: I will go up in
the pattern and do a round and see if the weather is flyable. If it is,
we'll go to flying W, if not ... I'll call Mark back in 15 minutes to
cancel.

I go refuel the plane. There is a new fuel tank at Central Jersey. There was
no fuel here before 3 weeks ago. The good thing is that fuel price is 2.60
which is the lowest I have seen EVER.

Here I had my problem with the school's piper 2 weeks ago: the plane started
and I taxied it to the tank but when I went to restart it, the prop wouldn't
budge. It gave two spins and gave up. Period. Winds up that the battery was
a bit iffy to begin with. So I had to push the damned fully fueled rental up
the hill to a parking spot and away from the tank. This happened 2 weeks
ago.

Today I have flashbacks about the plane not restarting at the fuel tank ...
but this is not the same plane. Oh no. This is MY plane. And it starts. And
it doesn't even hesitate. One turn of the key and the prop is spinning and
the engine is purring.

Up we go in the pattern and while those clouds look horrible and damn close
(closer than what I am used to) I am at 1500 feet up in the air and it looks
like there's room between us and the clouds.

I climb some more just to see if it looks any worse and I find out that I
can push the plane all the way to 2000 feet and still have legal margin
under the clouds.

Remember that time that I few in haze and I didn't like it a bit? Back then
I had a good 10 miles of visibility. This time around it's worse. There is
no doubt in my mind that this is less than 10. It's still VFR ... visibility
must be around 5-6 miles.

Very ugly, yet, I was unfazed this time around. Probably because I was
prepared for this. It didn't catch me by surprise. I knew what I was getting
into and I plotted a course that would take me over as many airports as I
could. Worse comes to worse I would be able to find an airport or just do a
U turn and go back.

Over Trenton, as predicted, visibility went all the way down to MVFR. Yet
the terrain was visible from 2000 feet, clouds were still above 2500 and the
landmarks where nice and visible. The GPS was confirming my route and I just
kept my eyes peeled.

Then past Trenton the ceiling went up to almost 4000 and visibility went all
the way out ... past 10 miles.

First time I do some scud running. It's not something I look forward to do
again. Then again, conditions were "ideal": I know this area like the back
of my hand. I can find an airport blindfolded around here. While in training
I landed at EVERY airport around here with or without my instructor last
year. I can tell where I am just looking at the shape of the water towers.

That plus the weather was proving to behave EXACTLY as predicted by the
briefer. And the one way trip was only 45 miles ...

Definetly nothing I would try on a trip from Jersey to Florida, over unkown
terrain and unpredictable weather.

We hit some choppy air on the way but this time around my wife didn't suffer
from turbulence. This plane has big seats (bigger than the rental piper)
with headrests. For some reason my wife has this trick where she puts her
head on the headrest and that cures her queasiness from turbulence. Without
headrests, she suffers from turbulence.

One more reason to like this plane.

I set myself up to land at Flying W and I find out that today I am in a
"stinky landings" mood. My final is horrible and my touchdown is well right
of the centerline. Landing is a little harder than usual but I cringe in
pain almost as if I landed on my legs not on my plane's wheels.

This is MY plane after all.

I affectionately pat the dashboard mumbling "Sorry for that landing my
friend!"

I hear on the radio a "Good job Marco" and there's Mark and his wife
standing by the fence.

Great ... I have witnesses to my crappy landing. Lovely. Hope they didn't
take a movie of it.

We park the plane and finally go eat at the Flying W restaurant. This plane
is supposed to have legendary food and in fact ... it does!

We have a great time (and good eatin') with Mark and his wife and one thing
I notice during lunch: one guy walks to my plane and starts looking at it.

It goes back and forth, from wing to wing, from side to side for a good 15
minutes.

Mark makes me notice him and we all start joking that we should get one of
those car alarm "beepers" so that you can make the plane "beep" the way cars
does when you press a button on your keychain.

The guy is literally hypnotized by my plane. There's plenty of planes parked
around but ... it's my plane that is turning heads.

After lunch I take Mark up for a ride and let him fly the plane for a bit
and he appears to like it as much as I do.

I have to appreciate the powerful engine of this plane: it roars like it has
business to do, places to go, birds to chew up.

On our way back I make one of the worst landings I have ever made since I
got my license.

This is starting to bother me, especially since there's my pilot friend,
Mark, on board. I am starting to feel that I am looking like an idiot.

I simmer inside but keep it there and shrug it off. But now I am starting to
wonder what the heck is wrong with me.

I used to be really good at crosswind landings. Now I am stinking up the
place with my landings. Admittedly, Flying W has lots of tall trees around
which induce some wind shear and turbulence on final (especially to Runway
1, which is the active today).

Wind is 10 gusty to 20 direct crosswind today. I have dealt with worse than
this though, in a much more graceful manner.

Perhaps the fact that the plane is unfamiliar to me is part of the reason. I
mean ... you can be as good as you want but I have about 1 hour total in
this plane.

True that i have about 12 hours in the Piper 180 model and this is VERY
similar in handling to the school plane but it is not exactly the same
plane.

For one thing i come to notice that the plane is VERY resistant to pitch
changes. It's very stable in pitch even in turbulence.

THis is great for IFR flying (you trim it and you can "almost" forget to
check your altitude, as i found out during some IFR training I had this
weekend) but makes landings harder if you don't use pitch trim profusely ...
I do use pitch trim but ... nowhere near close to what's needed in this
plane. So I have to struggle to keep the nose up.

(I will find out later that INDEED using trim appropriately makes landings a
lot easier in this plane, today it's just not my day).

The plane is also mildly unstable in roll, more unstable than the school's
piper. So I am used to a plane that is generally balanced but bouncy all
around .. and now I am flying in a plane that is pitch stable and roll
unstable. Well ... it's really not THAT unstable ... just a tad more
sensitive than what I am used to.

And this plane is really hard to slow down. It's one slick beast and just
throttling back doesn't do anything. It will take its time to lose speed.

So the direct crosswind, windshear and inexperience make my landings a bit
more interesting than they need to be.

After a short break for ice cream it's time to say good bye.

While I preflight the plane (and my wife chats with Mark and his wife), two
guys come by and one of them asks Mark and my wife:
"is that an Archer?"
"Well ... it's a 180" I hear Mark say
"that is a beautiful plane" one of them exclaimes while the other is
"eating" the plane with his eyes.
"Well thank you!" I say from behind the wing. I wonder why my chest is
puffing up and I feel like a million dollars right now ...
"A 180? What year is it?" the first guy asks almost in disbelief.
"1972"
"WHAT??" they both exclaim in surprise "but it looks brand new!"
"Yes that's because it's been repainted just 2 weeks ago"

After a bit more chatting I now notice that my plane is the only one in the
lot that looks like it was out of the factory 2 weeks ago. What an effect a
brand new paint job and reskinning job does to a plane ...

The return trip is a wonder. A crappy day turned into a beautifully sunny
and clear day. It's not even that bumpy anymore ...

My landing is a bit crappy, again, the crosswind gets me. Not a good
conclusion to an otherwise great day but I made mental notes for my
mistakes.

I definitely need to get some pattern practice with this plane.


--
Marco Rispoli - NJ, USA / PP-ASEL
My on-line aviation community - http://www.thepilotlounge.com


  #2  
Old June 29th 04, 03:05 PM
Jay Honeck
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Default

The guy is literally hypnotized by my plane. There's plenty of planes
parked
around but ... it's my plane that is turning heads.


Congrats on the new plane!
--
Jay Honeck
Iowa City, IA
Pathfinder N56993
www.AlexisParkInn.com
"Your Aviation Destination"


  #3  
Old June 29th 04, 03:30 PM
Paul Tomblin
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Default

In a previous article, "Marco Rispoli" said:
The school's piper at 47N was booked for Saturday but ... guess what? I
don't care!! cause I got my own PLANE!


Wait until your first annual. Then you'll care.


--
Paul Tomblin http://xcski.com/blogs/pt/
....if Paul's really talking about truly average people, then they'd probably
die in either case, because common sense isn't.
-- Derick Siddoway
  #4  
Old June 29th 04, 08:51 PM
Jay Honeck
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Posts: n/a
Default

The school's piper at 47N was booked for Saturday but ... guess what? I
don't care!! cause I got my own PLANE!


Wait until your first annual. Then you'll care.


Just pray for a short, sharp, chopping pain -- not a long, drawn-out agony.

You'll get over it sooner...

;-)
--
Jay Honeck
Iowa City, IA
Pathfinder N56993
www.AlexisParkInn.com
"Your Aviation Destination"


  #5  
Old June 29th 04, 09:07 PM
Marco Rispoli
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Default

My on-line aviation community - http://www.thepilotlounge.com
"Jay Honeck" wrote in message
news:hLjEc.366$7t3.4@attbi_s51...
The school's piper at 47N was booked for Saturday but ... guess what? I
don't care!! cause I got my own PLANE!


Wait until your first annual. Then you'll care.


Just pray for a short, sharp, chopping pain -- not a long, drawn-out

agony.

You'll get over it sooner...

;-)
--
Jay Honeck
Iowa City, IA
Pathfinder N56993
www.AlexisParkInn.com
"Your Aviation Destination"

well .. my annual is due ... one year from now ...

So I am not too worried.

--
Marco Rispoli - NJ, USA / PP-ASEL


  #6  
Old June 29th 04, 09:15 PM
Jay Honeck
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Posts: n/a
Default

well .. my annual is due ... one year from now ...

So I am not too worried.


Ah, whoever said ignorance *wasn't* bliss?

:-)
--
Jay Honeck
Iowa City, IA
Pathfinder N56993
www.AlexisParkInn.com
"Your Aviation Destination"


  #7  
Old June 29th 04, 09:24 PM
Jack Allison
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Default

Um...next time Marco, try smiling a bit will ya! :-) Nice plane. The cat
picture is a nice touch too!

--
Jack Allison
PP-ASEL, IA Student

"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the Earth
with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there
you will always long to return"
- Leonardo Da Vinci

(Remove the obvious from address to reply via e-mail)


  #8  
Old June 29th 04, 09:26 PM
AJW
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Default


well .. my annual is due ... one year from now ...

So I am not too worried.


Ah, whoever said ignorance *wasn't* bliss?

:-)
--

Annuals are a lot like Russian Roulette, aren't they? Nothing to it, Nothing to
it, ouch.

Except sometimes the ouch comes earlier than expected.
  #9  
Old June 29th 04, 09:32 PM
Jay Honeck
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Default

Annuals are a lot like Russian Roulette, aren't they? Nothing to it,
Nothing to
it, ouch.


Heh.

This should be my tag-line...

;-)
--
Jay Honeck
Iowa City, IA
Pathfinder N56993
www.AlexisParkInn.com
"Your Aviation Destination"


  #10  
Old June 29th 04, 11:15 PM
Bob Chilcoat
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Posts: n/a
Default

At least when you have three partners, you divide expensive stuff like
annuals by four. Our last annual cost me $450. Works for me.

--
Bob (Chief Pilot, White Knuckle Airways)

I don't have to like Bush and Cheney (Or Kerry, for that matter) to love
America

"Jay Honeck" wrote in message
news:8lkEc.422$Oq2.152@attbi_s52...
Annuals are a lot like Russian Roulette, aren't they? Nothing to it,

Nothing to
it, ouch.


Heh.

This should be my tag-line...

;-)
--
Jay Honeck
Iowa City, IA
Pathfinder N56993
www.AlexisParkInn.com
"Your Aviation Destination"




 




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